The South Korean and US militaries conducted live-fire exercises near the North Korean border

Seoul and Washington conduct a live-fire exercise near the North Korean border. Image distributed by the South Korean military. EFE/EPA/ROK Army/ROK Bulletin

the The armies of South Korea and the United States This happened Thursday Live fire exercises near the border with North KoreaAccording to a statement by the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, in what represents a new measure that highlights… Military escalation on the Korean Peninsula.

Infantry units participate in the maneuvers and have been taking place since December 29 in the town Bucheon45 kilometers northeast of Seoul.

The exercise, which will continue until January 5, seeks to improve… Interoperable capabilities Allies, according to a statement by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

110 different South Korean and American weapons systems participated in the exercises, including K1A2 tanks, armored vehicles such as K-600 or A-10 fighter aircraft, or artillery systems.

A South Korean Army K1A2 tank participates in a joint combat firing exercise between South Korean and US forces near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Bucheon, South Korea, January 2, 2024. Ministry of Defense/Handout via Reuters
Troops from South Korea and North America during training pause (Ministry of Defense/Handout via Reuters)

Just today, North Korean media strongly criticized these maneuvers. State agency Korean Central News Agency Rate them Of procedures “self-destruct” As well as some live fire maneuvers carried out by the South Korean Navy on Wednesday.

In turn, the official spokesman for JCS said Lee Sung Joon He stated today in a press conference that the North Korean army has been carrying out its traditional winter maneuvers since before the end of the year.

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These North Korean exercises usually continue until the spring and usually include artillery training.

South Korean Army K1A2 tanks take part in a joint combat firing exercise between South Korean and US forces near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Bucheon, South Korea, January 2, 2024. Ministry of Defense/Handout via Reuters

Coinciding with the end of the year, the North Korean dictator leader Kim Jong Un He said There is no longer any possibility of reconciliation or reunification with the South And the? His regime will continue to strengthen its nuclear and missile programmeWhile the President of the South said Yoon Suk YeolHe emphasized this in his New Year speech Seoul and Washington are set to update their deterrence strategy this year, which now includes the nuclear option.

After denuclearization negotiations with Washington failed in 2019, Pyongyang agreed to a weapons modernization plan — which included the deployment of military satellites and included countless missile tests — as well as refusing to resume dialogue and seek greater rapprochement with Beijing and Moscow. .

Meanwhile, Seoul and Washington did Strengthening military cooperation with Tokyo It strengthened the deterrence mechanism by doubling its joint exercises and deploying American strategic assets on the peninsula at an increasing pace.

(With information from EFE)

Sacha Woodward

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